A visit to Santa Marta means discovering a lesser known Colombia. Nestled at the foot of the majestic Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, this city was the first Spanish settlement, which overtime developed into an important maritime hub. Today, it represents an alluring mish-mash of breezy Caribbean beaches, old historical treasures and ever-growing palette of cafés, bars and eateries. Those looking to experience the allure of the more-laid back side of Colombia won’t make a mistake if they decide to book their holidays in Santa Marta.
- The pristine-white Santa Marta Cathedral is said to be the oldest one in the country. This picturesque church sits in the city’s main plaza, in company of several other stunning historical edifices.
- El Rodadero is a one of the most visited beaches on the Colombian Caribbean coast. It features lush stretches of sand, glitzy hotels and even an aquarium.
- Quinta de San Pedro Alejandrino is a 17th-century hacienda which holds tremendous historical importance, since it was the death place of Simón Bolívar, famous revolutionary leader.
- Parque de los Novios is the city’s most charming plaza and the gathering place for many Santa Marta locals. It’s a great spot to soak up the atmosphere of the city and admire the surrounding architecture.
- Those curious to explore the areas surrounding Santa Marta can head over to the Lost City Teyuna, ancient ruins that lie in the tropical forests on the edges of the city. These historical remains are said to predate those found at Machu Picchu.
- In the vicinity of Santa Marta, you will find coral reefs that open up excellent scuba diving opportunities.
- Santa Marta is the best place to treat yourself to the iconic mochila bag at an affordable price. These colorful crocheted bags are made by the indigenous Kogi people who live in the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta Mountains.